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From Wikipedia:

Bates

Bates is a common surname of English origin and is derived from the name Bartholomew. The name could also originate from the Old English "Bat", meaning "Boat", as used to identify a person whose occupation was boatman. Another origin is that which means “lush pasture”, describing someone who lived near such a place. At the time of the British Census of 1881, the relative frequency of the surname Bates was highest in Buckinghamshire, followed by Leicestershire,... Read More

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